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directed by Neil Marshall
UK/Luxembourg/US 2002

 

After Cooper (Kevin McKidd) fails a special ops initiation under the direction of Captain Ryan (Liam Cunningham, THE CARD PLAYER), he returns to his regular unit under Sgt. Wells (Sean Pertwee, EVENT HORIZON). Weeks later, the unit is attacked during a training maneuver in Scotland and they come across a critically injured Captain Ryan whose own unit has been torn to shreds. When Wells is also attacked by a fast-moving creature, the unit and Ryan take off into the woods where Megan (Emma Cleasby) picks them up in her Range Rover. They take shelter in a seemingly uninhabited cottage which is soon under siege from a pack of werewolves with only their firepower to stave off attacks but things are getting dangerous inside as Ryan and Wells seem to be making remarkable recoveries despite having been nearly disemboweled by the werewolves. Despite the derivative plot (which as much recalls NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD as it does the eighties pic SCARECROWS), DOG SOLDIERS is an entertaining and amusing horror movie and still Marshall's best effort. McKidd, Pertwee, and especially Cunningham are excellent, the script also affords some dimension to the supporting players, and Bob Keen's (HELLRAISER) werewolf effects are reminiscent of Rick Baker's bipedal creations for the THE HOWLING but more mobile. The darting shaky-cam and grainy Super 16mm photography are organic to the rest of the film's elements (the only false element being the Megan character as this film really doesn't need the "we know what's in the shadows now"-type profound dialogue, especially with Cunningham already effortlessly unnerving the other characters).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 10 May 2002 (UK)

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DVD Comparison:

Pathé - Region 2 - PAL vs. Key DVD - Region 0 - NTSC vs. First Look Studios - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas and for the DVD Screen Caps!

(Pathé - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Key DVD - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. First Look Studios - Region A - Blu-ray - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Pathé

Region 2 - PAL

Key DVD
Region 0 - NTSC
First Look Studios
Region
A - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:41:57 1:44:52 1:44:52.286
Video

1.82:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.6 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.80:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.7 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Disc Size: 23,360,591,560 bytes

Feature Size: 22,994,399,232 bytes

Average Bitrate: 24.95 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Pathé

 

Bitrate:

 

Key DVD

 

Bitrate:

 

First Look Studios (Blu-ray)

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 5.1

English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround

Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1470 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1470 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps)
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English HoH Spanish, none English (SHD), Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Pathé

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.82:1

Edition Details:
• Audio commentary by writer/director Neil Marshall, producer Keith Bell, cameraman Sam McCurdy and actors Kevin McKidd, Liam Cunningham and Sean Pertwee
• Audio commentary by producers David Allen and Brian O'Toole
• Making of DOG SOLDIERS (4:3; 19:35)
• COMBAT short film (4:3; 7:35)
• Deleted scenes and gag reel (with optional audio commentary by writer/director Neil Marshall) (4:3;
• 2 Storyboard/Scene Comparisons
• Theatrical Trailer 1 (4:3; 1:07)
• Theatrical Trailer 2 (4:3; 1:02)
• Theatrical Trailer 3 (4:3; 1:01)
• Theatrical Trailer 4 (4:3; 1:04)

DVD Release Date: 17 February 2003
Amaray

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Key DVD

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.80:1

Edition Details:
• Fullscreen Version on Same Disc
• Audio commentary by producers David Allen and Brian O'Toole
• Making of DOG SOLDIERS (4:3; 19:33)
• International Trailer (4:3; 0:57)
• US Trailer (4:3; 0:45)
 

DVD Release Date: 16 December 2003
Amaray

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: First Look Studios

 

Disc Size: 23,360,591,560 bytes

Feature Size: 22,994,399,232 bytes

Average Bitrate: 24.95 Mbps

Single-layered Blu-ray MPEG-4 AVC Video 1080P

 

Edition Details:

• First Look Previews
 

Blu-ray Release Date: 5 May 2009
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: First Look - Region 'A' Blu-ray - April 2010: Just to add on to what Eric has correctly stated below - for fans of film grain - Dog Soldiers on Blu-ray has it in abundance and replaces the DVD's noise and artifacts with thick textured look that I find... exquisite. Occasional colors (greens + blood reds) rise to a stronger vibrancy. It surely represents the 16mm source in the most accurate manner - digitally speaking. The TrueHD is more marginal improvement but things obviously tighten up tonally with the lossless rendering. Separation exists to a more pronounced level but still responds to the limitations of production.

There are optional English or Spanish subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

The loss of supplements is a black-mark but fans who rate video and audio at a premium will definitely want to go for the Blu-ray version and it's reasonable price.  

 - Gary W. Tooze

****

Despite the heightened picture resolution (the film was shot in 16mm so heavy grain is a stylistic choice) and TrueHD audio, the Blu-ray release misses out on all of the extras (I believe First Look's steelbook is also barebones). When Artisan folded, DOG SOLDIERS was not carried over to LionsGate (despite their releases of Neil Marshall's subsequent work DOOMSDAY and THE DESCENT) but was picked up by First Look who released the film first in 2007 as a regular edition and then in a steelbook DVD to coincide with the Blu-ray. The Key DVD from 2003 (released by Twentieth Century Fox as part of a $9.95 budget range) seems to be a port of the Artisan disc with the same audio options and fullscreen/widescreen versions with a slightly brighter image (both interlaced but running the correct 23.976 fps speed) on the same dual-layer disc, producer's commentary only, and the featurette. As far as the SD releases go, the UK disc sports a better picture (thanks to the progressive image, lack of a 2.0 surround downmix, and dual-layer encoding) as well as a director's commentary in addition to the producer's commentary on the US release, a short film, the same making-of featurette, deleted scenes with optional commentary, storyboard/scene comparisons, and four versions of the trailer with different emphasis. Audiophiles might like to know that the HK and Scandinavian releases feature DTS tracks (DTS-ES in the case of the latter) but the HK release is supposed to be non-anamorphic and barebones while the Scanbox R2 features the making-of and deleted scenes but only the producer commentary.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



DVD Menus
(Pathé - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. Key DVD - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. First Look Studios - Region A - Blu-ray - RIGHT)
 

 
   

   

   

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

(Pathé - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Key DVD - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. First Look Studios - Region A - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)
Subtitle Sample (where available)

 

 


(Pathé - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Key DVD - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. First Look Studios - Region A - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Pathé - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Key DVD - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. First Look Studios - Region A - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 


(Pathé - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Key DVD - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. First Look Studios - Region A - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Pathé - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Key DVD - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. First Look Studios - Region A - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Pathé - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Key DVD - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. First Look Studios - Region A - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 


(Pathé - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. Key DVD - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. First Look Studios - Region A - Blu-ray - BOTTOM)

 

 More Blu-ray captures

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

First Look Blu-ray

Sound:

First Look Blu-ray

Extras: Pathé
Menu: Pathé

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Pathé

Region 2 - PAL

Key DVD
Region 0 - NTSC
First Look Studios
Region
A - Blu-ray



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